Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NCLB Highly Qualified Teacher

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This material copied on 11.2.09 from http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/051021.html

The law set the important goal that all students be taught by a "highly qualified teacher" (HQT) who holds at least a bachelor's degree, has obtained full State certification, and has demonstrated knowledge in the core academic subjects he or she teaches. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) reinforced this goal by aligning the requirements for special education teachers with the NCLB requirements.

The law also requires states will lose Federal education funding if they fail show that they are taking steps and making progress on the goal of ensuring that "highly qualified teachers are distributed equitably among classrooms with students from affluent and disadvantaged families by offering extra training or financial incentives to teach in hard-to-staff schools."

States must have a test in place to assess subject-area knowledge in the key subjects in the standard elementary school curriculum. Further, for new middle and high school teachers, a State must either test content knowledge or require those teachers to have a college major, a major equivalent, or an advanced degree or credential, in each subject taught, in order to be considered highly qualified. If a State has charter schools, teachers who teach in these schools must have bachelor's degrees and must demonstrate subject-area competence in the same manner as other teachers do before they can be considered highly qualified, but certification requirements can be waived, if permitted by State law. For teachers of special education, States must meet the requirements established in Section 602(10) of IDEA.

Complete and accurate reporting of HQT data to the Department is the third requirement. In January 2006, States must submit complete and accurate data to the U.S. Secretary of Education on their implementation of the HQT requirements as part of their Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR). In addition to reporting the number and percentage of core academic classes being taught by highly qualified teachers in all schools, States must report on the number and percentage of core academic classes being taught in "high-" and "low-poverty" schools.....

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